KHN Morning Briefing

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‘They’re Getting Away With Murder’: Trump Slams Pharma, Says U.S. Must Negotiate Drug Prices

Pharmaceutical stocks dropped sharply after Trump's press conference statements.

Reuters: Trump Says Pharma 'Getting Away With Murder,' Stocks Slide
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday said pharmaceutical companies are "getting away with murder" in what they charge the government for medicines, and promised that would change, sending drugs stocks sharply lower. The benchmark S&P 500 index slipped into negative territory after his remarks at a news conference spooked investors. The iShares Nasdaq Biotech ETF dropped 4 percent at its session low and ended down 3 percent, its largest daily percentage drop in three months. (Humer and Campos, 1/11)

The Washington Post: Trump On Drug Prices: Pharma Companies Are ‘Getting Away With Murder’
“Pharma has a lot of lobbies, a lot of lobbyists and a lot of power. And there’s very little bidding on drugs,” Trump said during the event at Trump Tower in New York. “We’re the largest buyer of drugs in the world, and yet we don’t bid properly.” Federal law forbids the government from negotiating with drug companies to bring down the price of drugs for seniors using Medicare. While Trump did not announce a specific plan to address the issue, he has in the past called for ending the policy -- a proposal that Democratic lawmakers have repeatedly put forward. (Johnson, 1/11)

The Wall Street Journal: Trump Attacks Drugmakers On Pricing
In response to Mr. Trump’s remarks, the drug industry’s main trade group said that the U.S. already has a competitive marketplace for purchasing drugs, where private health insurers negotiate lower prices. “We look forward to working with the new administration and Congress to advance proactive, practical solutions to improve the marketplace and make it more responsive to the needs of patients,” the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said. (Walker, 1/11)

Politico: Trump Says Drug Industry 'Getting Away With Murder'
Polls over the past two years have shown that high drug prices are among Americans' top health care concerns, regardless of party. Large price increases for old drugs dominated the headlines last year, and congressional investigations into the EpiPen and former pharma executive Martin Shkreli became campaign fodder. Both Trump and Hillary Clinton attacked drug makers, though Clinton laid out a much more detailed plan to fight drug prices. (Karlin-Smith, 1/11)

The Wall Street Journal: Biotech Stocks Feel The Wrath Of Trump
Health-care investors got an ugly preview Wednesday of what the next four years might look like. President-elect Donald Trump said during a news conference that the pharmaceuticals industry is “getting away with murder,” and vowed the U.S. government, as the largest buyer of drugs in the world, would ”start bidding” on drug costs. (Grant, 1/11)

Bloomberg: It’s The Drug Industry’s Turn To Tremble Before Trump 
In a hallway of a San Francisco luxury hotel, investors huddled around a computer screen watching dozens of drug stocks plummet as President-elect Donald Trump lit into pharma companies, declaring that “they’re getting away with murder.” As for Obamacare, he said, “it’ll be repeal and replace.” The mood was shock and disbelief as thousands of health-care investors, bankers and executives gathered at the cramped Westin St. Francis Hotel. Many had paid thousands of dollars to attend the industry’s biggest investing get-together of the year, the four-day J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. And they had spent the last days speculating about what policies Trump would push in health care. Then the bomb dropped. (Langreth, Chen and Hopkins, 1/12)

Bloomberg: Drug Stocks Plunge As Trump Threatens To Force Price Bidding 
Pharmaceutical and biotech stocks plummeted after President-elect Donald Trump said he’d force the industry to bid for government business, a position that aligns him with congressional Democrats and against the powerful drug-manufacturing lobby. “They’re getting away with murder,” Trump said at a press conference in New York. “Pharma has a lot of lobbyists and a lot of power and there is very little bidding. We’re the largest buyer of drugs in the world and yet we don’t bid properly and we’re going to save billions of dollars.” The industry is the latest target of a president who’s made a habit of negotiating via Twitter. (Tracer and Edney, 1/11)

NJ.com: N.J. Pharmaceutical Stocks Fall On Trump Vow To Slash Medicare Drug Prices
A few words from Donald Trump on Wednesday was all it took for pharmaceutical executives to reach for the aspirin. When the president-elect vowed again during a long-awaited press conference to change the way the federal government pays for prescription drugs in the Medicare program, the declaration immediately sent drug company stock prices tumbling. Trump said the government has to create new bidding procedures for the pharmaceutical drug industry "because they're getting away with murder." (O'Brien, 1/11)

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